Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lilian makes history in Bangkok

Proud Malaysian: Lilian Tan won the above 50kg gold in the World Championships yesterday.
PETALING JAYA: Lilian Tan struck a historic first for women’s bodybuilding when she became the first Malaysian to take gold in the World Bodybuilding and Physique Federation (WBPF) World Championships in Bangkok.

Lilian came out tops in the above 50kg weight division contest at the Nimibutr National Stadium yesterday and it was the third gold medal for Malaysia in the world meet.

On Saturday, Sazali Samad triumphed in the below 70kg (lightweight) category for his eighth world title while gym owner Wong Hong earned his second world title in the Masters (age 40-50). But it was a woman who struck the perfect pose to pave the way for Malaysia to achieve their best-ever outing at the meet.

Lilian is the only woman in a team of seven bodybuilders sent to the world meet by the Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation (MBBF).

“It is a huge honour to be able to represent Malaysia at the international level in the world’s most prestigious championship,” said Lilian.

”Honestly, I’m still trying to absorb this accomplishment. I’ve dreamt of this moment for years. I’ve worked very hard for this victory.”

The 40-year-old Lilian, who only stands at 157cm, came close to bagging a medal when she finished fourth in the world meet in Malacca last year.

She took silver in the Asian meet in Guangzhou last year and this is her biggest achievement since she first developed a liking for lifting weights when she went to further her studies in California. The Penang-born girl continued with her involvement after graduating with a degree in Business Management in 1997.

Since women were not encouraged to participate in the sport at that time, Lilian choose to pursue her interests in the US.

In 2004, she won the Miss USA Overall Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition (Open category) and earned her status as a professional bodybuilder.

Lilian returned to Malaysia a few years ago and is now a freelance physical trainer.
Sazali applauded her efforts in scoring a first for Malaysian bodybuilding.

“She has worked and trained very hard all these years to get to where she is today. Lilian has put the country in the limelight and showed that I am not the only one capable of carrying the challenge,” said Sazali.

Mohd Shahrul Azman added a bronze medal for Malaysia in the men’s physique 170cm category. Shahrul was a silver medallist in the same category in the Asian meet in Guangzhou in September.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Accomplished broadcaster Jeyanathan dies at age 74

KUALA LUMPUR: It was not the Voice of America or BBC, but a glorious voice coming from the major sporting venues broadcast through the network stations of Radio Malaysia (now RTM), first from Federal House and then Angkasapuri.

It was simply the voice of R. Jeyanathan (pic), dubbed the Golden Voice of Sport, on air.
On Tuesday, Jeya succumbed to a heart attack he suffered a week earlier. He was 74.

Only four months ago, the sporting fraternity lost an icon in the legendary Datuk Punch Gunalan. Both Jeya and Punch were the greatest of buddies right from the mid-60s when Punch emerged on the scene as a classic badminton player.
Jeya was also a good writer. He joined Badminton Asia Con­fe­de­ration (BAC) as a media representative in 1998 and help developed their first magazine Perspective. In 2006, he joined Badminton World Fede­ration (BWF) as the person in charge of the archives department.

During his days in radio, Jeya was an accomplished broadcaster – both in sports and general news.
His tremendous PR skills with sports personalities and officials made him the envy of print media journalists and fellow broadcasters.

Just a month ago, Jeya managed to bring together all the radio broadcasters from different eras at a reunion at a leading hotel here.

Jeya began his career as a teacher before joining RTM in the early 1960s and rose from the rank of Broadcasting Assistant 4 to head the Sports Unit of the English network.

Health problems resulted in him retiring prematurely at 51 in a senior position of the English service.